Mohamed Al Fayed: Former Harrods owner dies at 94
Introduction: Mohamed Al Fayed, the former owner of Harrods and the father of Dodi Fayed, who tragically died alongside Diana, Princess of Wales in a car crash, has passed away at 94. Born in Egypt, he built a significant business empire in the Middle East before relocating to the UK in the 1970s. Al Fayed’s quest for British citizenship was unsuccessful, and he spent his later years questioning the circumstances surrounding his son Dodi and Diana’s deaths.
Life and Legacy:
- Mohamed Al Fayed’s journey began in Egypt, where he started selling fizzy drinks in Alexandria.
- He married Samira Khashoggi, the sister of Saudi millionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, which opened doors for him in the business world.
- Al Fayed moved to the UK in 1974 and acquired the Ritz hotel in Paris in 1979 with his brother.
- He famously bought Harrods in 1985 after a fierce bidding war.
- Al Fayed owned Fulham FC, guiding the club from the third tier to the Premier League.
- He was known for his charitable endeavors, mainly supporting underprivileged and unwell children.
- Al Fayed’s life was deeply marked by the tragic car crash in Paris in 1997 that claimed the lives of his son Dodi and Princess Diana. He became obsessed with the circumstances of their deaths.
Allegations and Controversies:
- Al Fayed’s quest for British citizenship was marked by controversy, with bribery allegations involving Conservative ministers Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith.
- He accused Prince Philip and MI6 of being involved in a conspiracy to orchestrate the deaths of Diana and Dodi, claims dismissed by the coroner and the jury.
Legacy and Impact:
- Mohamed Al Fayed significantly impacted British life through his ownership of Harrods and Fulham FC.
- He will be remembered as a man who reshaped Harrods and as a benefactor for various charities and hospitals.
Conclusion: Mohamed Al Fayed, a prominent figure in the business world and the father of Dodi Fayed, who died alongside Princess Diana, has passed away at 94. His life was marked by business success, charitable endeavors, and his relentless quest for answers surrounding the tragic car crash in Paris 1997. While his allegations sparked controversy, Al Fayed’s legacy includes his significant impact on iconic institutions like Harrods.